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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino

Unfortunately, many of those animals are dangerous. Further compounding the problem is the fact that many exotic pet owners turn their animals over to facilities not equipped to care for them properly when they discover that they’ve made a bad decision.

In the state of Wisconsin, owning a monkey or nearly any other nonnative animal is completely legal. We’re one of five states that has no ban on owning dangerous exotic animals.

However, Senate Bill 241 is making its way through the legislature to change that. This and its companion measure, Assembly Bill 333, are attempting to ban the ownership, breeding and sale of exotic animals including:

  • Nonnative big cats
  • Nonnative bears
  • Apes
  • Crocodilians

Under the bill, people who currently own banned pets would be allowed to keep them. Further, veterinarians, zoos, circuses and licensed research facilities would be exempt.

Some animals that are considered exotic would not be banned, including:

  • Venomous snakes
  • Chameleons, iguanas and other types of lizards
  • Sugar gliders
  • Chinchillas
  • Kangaroos
  • Wallabies
  • Zebras

Some advocates of the legislation say that Wisconsin’s current exotic pet laws encourage ownership of animals that are not well suited for domestic life.

“A lot of roadside zoos or zoos that are less than adequate as far as their ability to manage animals with modern zoological standards have USDA licenses, and it doesn’t necessarily qualify them or make them prime candidates to home some of these dangerous exotic animals,” said Chuck Wikenhauser, director of the Milwaukee County Zoo.

What Do You Think?

Do you think Wisconsin is strict enough on owning exotic pets, or is this new legislation necessary? I’d love to hear what you think, so share your thoughts on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin's Exotic Pet Problem
​By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like most people, you’ve never considered bringing a tiger, a lion or even a monkey into your home as a pet (well, maybe the monkey – who doesn’t want a pet monkey?)… but there are many people in Wisconsin who do own exotic
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin's Exotic Pet Problem

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